New state law requires police training on human trafficking

Published: Jul. 26, 2022 at 4:23 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 26, 2022 at 6:08 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A new law requires all law enforcement employed for one year or more to get training on how to recognize human trafficking.

Sen. Beth Mizell (R) said she brought this up after learning not many officers outside of New Orleans have been properly trained on the subject. With the I-10/ I-12 corridor being a pipeline for human trafficking, it became apparent that training was needed.

“You’ve seen other stories throughout the country where people have been transported by 18-wheelers in the cargo areas,” said Sgt. L’jean Mckneely with BRPD.

Sgt. Mckneely said he and other agencies agree the training for this is necessary and have even been in contact with federal agencies about how to do it right.

“It’ll be more of a structured thing that we have to put together. Even though it’s been in discussions within the classes during that particular session, now that there is a requirement for us to come up with a course syllabus for it, we will adhere to whatever rule there is,” said Sgt. Mckneely.

Human trafficking usually occurs in crowded areas where a lot is going on and things can go easily unnoticed. New Orleans brings in its fair share of large events each year, which makes them most susceptible to traffickers, but that does not mean it is a foreign concept to Baton Rouge and other cities.

“We’ve had dealings with that, so we’re somewhat familiar with that whenever we get calls of that happening at our local hotels because that’s where we typically respond to those types of calls,” said Sgt. Mckneely.

Agencies will need to begin training their recruits around trafficking starting August 1, 2022. The agencies will also have to report their efforts to the state on an annual basis.

With all of that, BRPD said they are still waiting to hear if they will need to come up with their own course curriculum or if there will be a state-wide standard of how this training should be conducted.

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